The Most Important Move A Boss Can Make…

Is to pay attention. 

Pay attention to the people who work at your company. This is about them, not you. Notice when they do good things that you want them to do and tell them. If you see them doing something good, say it. 

It can be anything. If someone takes out the trash - say “good job and thank you” for taking out the trash.

If someone almost nails a presentation - say “good job” and then give them a pointer on what they could do better. 

Pay attention. Get out of your own head and look around. If you can’t out of your head, then don’t come into the office until you are in a place where you can lead people. 

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Ben Martinez
4 Reasons Why Startups Struggle at Recruiting…

In  2019, 63% of startups claim that access to talent as their most critical issue and I don’t see the talent issue getting better in 2020…

One reason you haven’t heard from me is me and a couple of friends have been heads down helping some high growth startups make recruiting better at their companies. #thankful

There are many theories as to why startups struggle with recruiting but here are my top 4 reasons why startups struggle to find top talent.

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What didn’t work in that last job?

One of the most overlooked questions in a job interview is finding out “what someone failed at during their last job? 

Even if you are not interviewing for a job, consider your learnings from failure. The program you created that never got off the ground, the construction projects that went way over budget and time or the school test you studied hard for but got a low score.

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When time is running out, we work harder…

Do not waste time on the clock. Drama is a distraction. Work like there is 2 minutes left on the clock.

What does this have to do with hiring? Well...Hire people who minimize drama and just do the work. You will grow faster, work will happen and you can do away with trust falls or ropes courses.

PS - It shouldn’t take a graduate course to teach a grown up about time BUT the topic of “time” is important for any profession.

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“His old boss was fired for cocaine and prostitutes” - That’s what I heard

he other day I was doing a recruiting intake session and the hiring manager told me his former boss was fired for buying strippers and cocaine while in another country on a business trip...

This situation caused the hiring manager to want to leave the company and work for someone else. Notice that he said, “work for someone else” NOT “work somewhere else”.

I don’t know how true the story of his old boss is and it was irrelevant to my meeting with him but I do know that people work for people, not companies.

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The Worst Resume Advice

The worst resume advice is to focus all the efforts on the resume.

Hiring managers: Candidates only put the good stuff on their resume. You need to dig in and find out everything. We all have warts. Find out what the candidate learned from their failures not listed on the resume. FYI - roughly 81% of resumes have some material lie on them.

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Candidates Hear the Sounds of Silence

It’s wise to shut-up. Especially during a job interview. Speak your mind but do not be a talker. I have seen candidates and hiring managers do too much talking during an interview. They are afraid of silence.

Hiring Managers - Ask really good questions, listen then dig more. This past week I did a training for hiring managers on conducting better interviews. Many of the hiring managers admitted they need to listen and probe more. It’s a human problem, so don’t feel alone.

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Just because they have a good a resume…

Remember Uncle Rico from the movie Napoleon Dynamite? His resume would say - “Back in 82 he could throw the pigskin a quarter mile” 

Would you hire Uncle Rico to lead your college football team? I doubt it, but his high school football resume and mouth says he is great.

You have heard this before. People are more than their resumes. They really are.

Just because they worked at Facebook, doesn’t make them good at hustle and hard work.

Just because they went to Harvard doesn’t mean they can bring revenue into your company.

Just because they were the “Head of Sales” doesn’t mean they can close deals.

Just because they have some short stints on their resume doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk with them.

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Remember 84% of workers are bored at work…

I had coffee the other day with a talented executive at a billion dollar company who is bored at her job.

She is well paid, but bored. Because of that, she is starting a side business and if chances are like her past successes, she will probably do really well in that business.

Here is the moral of the story. More money alone does not make you happy...Ask Magic Johnson who just resigned as the LA Lakers President. He makes a lot of money but became bored and quit.

I cringe when I see a candidate stick with a job they’re bored with and only stay for the money. They are hard to help.

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Feedback! (More Candidates are Rejected, then Hired)

Many of us only hear about the interviews, offers and hires when it comes to recruiting but more candidates are rejected than made an offer.

For every one hire, 46 people were reviewed, 12 are phone/video screened, 3-5 are interviewed and one person is hired (stats from an actual CFO role I worked on).

The one and only action that will screw up your recruiting efforts - lack of feedback in two areas of the recruiting process.

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Feeling Disengaged?

Good news, you have company because many other employees are disengaged. We are at a record-high employee disengagement rate...84%.

For recruiting - This means that as long as you don’t creep out your prospective candidates with spammy LinkedIn pitches, you’re likely to engage them in a call. People are looking for more engaging work.

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Your Candidates are just not that “Into You”

People surprise me all the time that is why I don’t expect anything...

I’ve spoken with many candidates (lately - fintech product and engineer talent and CFO level talent) and those I speak with aren’t really candidates until I understand what problems they solve and what gets them out of bed to work every morning.

I expect nothing, nor should you the hiring manager until you can uncover what it is a candidate likes to do and what big things they want to achieve.

The hiring managers who “get it” know they need to understand what the candidate wants, before they explain what the hiring managers want.

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Good Companies are Getting Some

If they “Get It” - that means they get what it takes to make money in your business, understand that the customer always comes first and their job (regardless of title) is to add value to a customer. They are NOT incompetent and will be able to Get It when it comes to your business. When I got my Amazon offer, I was incompetent in what they were trying to do. I didn’t GET it. I understood that the customer came first but I didn’t quite get the vision.

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Is it time to FAIL, OR is it time to FILL?

The problem with focusing too much on Time to Fill is that it feeds right into a common bias we all have with our work, The Planning Fallacy. You can Google that term but essentially “The Planning Fallacy” is a situation in which we underestimate the time needed to complete a project. This happens regardless of our past knowledge of the task, we just tend to always bite off more than we can chew.

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